With yet another setback to overcome and an entirely new fiasco to sift through, the inability to make meaningful progress on the Trans Mountain Pipeline has been to the detriment of not only Alberta, but for the overall well-being of Canada as a whole.
Given last week’s ruling by the Federal Court of Appeals—over the National Energy Board’s lack of environmental accountability and ‘failed’ consultations with indigenous peoples—the consensus within mainstream Alberta is a rising anger over the lack of progress made by what Harper once denoted as an “aggressive and hostile federal government.”
The lack of progression on the once Kinder Morgan-owned pipeline angers me, for lack of better words.
To put things bluntly, I’m beyond ticked off.
My anger, like that of many Albertans, is rooted in something rational, something worth fighting for—the future of Alberta and the maximization of its economic prowess.
Though it may be selfish of myself to be have so much pride in being an Albertan and what this province stands for, I cannot help but wonder why the LPC’s exploitation of Alberta is typically overlooked. Yet when we decry his administration’s actions or lack thereof, we are labelled bigots, climate change deniers, and so on.
Buzzwords aside, the underutilization of the goldmine that is our energy sector, alongside the exploitation of our one prized economy through equalization—a separate problem all-together—don’t matter when the Fed’s incessant catering to the environmental lobby, radicals and all, remains favourable in the public eye.
This reality remains in the wake of the LPC’s $4.5 billion purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Rather than getting the Supreme Court involved to deter environmental radicals from undermining the legitimacy of the inter-provincial project, the LPC ignored the threat they posed, at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer and future corporate investment.
Said velvet-totalitarian stance by Trudeau and his colleagues suggests that we either fall in line with the ‘status-quo’ or risk the proposition of forfeiting our share of the climate plan fund a la McKenna.
These all factor into the long-standing legacy of Western alienation by both Trudeaus and their respective Liberal governments, going all the way back to his father Pierre in the ‘80s when he sought to nationalize Albertan Energy.
The radical few should never be allowed to sway the majority on policy, under no circumstance. Especially when they seek to undermine the rule of law. Moreover, that also means we nip rising sentiments of Albertan separatism in the bud, no matter the inter-provincial backlash or the degree of Western alienation by the Liberal-held East.
Ultimately any claim to secede from the confederation is unrealistic and would be a dangerous endeavour to undertake by any mainstream politician.
To the surprise of many, myself included, Conservative cabinet minister Jay Hill delivered an ‘impassioned’ endorsement of the secessionist movement, stating “I’ve been encouraged by several to rationally consider the case for western independence.”
He, like others, believes that the past and present exploitation of the West by the East means “Confederation is no longer working in the best interests of the West.” While it is true the attitudes of the current federal government have been increasingly hostile towards Albertans, pursuing separatism would come across as an abandonment of those in the East who side with us in the push for increased reliance on Canadian energy, rather than that from less environmentally conscious and human rights oriented nations like Saudi Arabia.
Strength through unity is something I’ve always come to admire, and in moments such as this when it does not work in our favour I am of the belief that we must fix it—whatever it takes.
In the name of civic nationalism, we must seek to reach out and establish better avenues of communication with the Feds—preferably with a new provincial party at the helm, as the Alberta NDP usually roll over at the whim of the LPC. That is no longer acceptable. We need a government that projects strength and stands up for the needs of its constituents. We need the people of our great province to put its differences aside in search of what we have in common—the need for fiscal certainty, job security, and respect from our neighbours. Moreover, the separatist crusade is not the correct approach to solving our current plights. It is a laughable proposition that no conservative should contemplate.
In service of a less polarized tomorrow, we must be the ones to leave the regional identitarianism and the ideologically driven brashness at the door, with that of the environmental radicals who dance merrily at the expense of Canada’s economy. Those who believe in following through with it might as well join the latter, for they would indeed be doing a disservice to their fellow Albertans, at the expense of the common good. In other words, it would be a decision many would soon come to regret, oil sands or no oil sands.